Learning Music

Eight years since I picked up violin, and I have learned so much more than just how to play it. Especially so now that I have been married almost six months to one of my violin tutors and mentors. My husband may not yet have taken me on an exotic honeymoon, but he has brought me miles of insight and understanding in a short span of time.

The most significant change he has brought about in my life, I would say, is that I have come to terms with something that I had unknowingly been struggling with for many years: accepting myself for who I am, for what I can and cannot do. I may not be favoured by the common society, but I am empowered to feel that I am allowed to be how I am.

There is a cliché saying that variably goes, "Music does not lie." It has different meanings at different angles, I think, and it has been a long time since I thought about what it means to me. In essence, it tells me that when one plays music, it should feel like an ultimate means of expressing oneself. Both the performer and the listener should sense that the music is an honest presentation of feelings—not an honest presentation of showing off skills or talent, and especially not as a tool to bring fame, or simply to generate income.

Through our mutual respect and fondness for the truth, my husband has been able to bring me on to a path of enlightenment. With this acquired awareness, my mind has been opened to perceive all the pretence in this world in new ways, and there is a lot of it in music...

I still learn from my husband, be it actively or passively while he is teaching others, but now when he teaches music, I know that he is teaching life.

Originally published 2016-05-28